Education & Study

The standard and quality of education in Canada is very high so expat parents usually enrol their children into state public schools. Education for children is important until the age of 16 and in some regions up to the age of 18.

Expat parents who are legally recognised to study or work will be able to send their children to school without a study permit. A study permit will be required for children to attend school if parents have not been permitted to work.
The structured system in Canada is as follows:

  • Kindergarten: Ages 4 – 5 years old
  • Primary School: Ages 6-12
  • Middle School: Ages 12-14
  • High School: Ages 14- 18 (Age 18+ in Ontario)

Admission in Schools

Getting children admitted into a public school may prove difficult depending on the area you will be living in. Parents should ensure that they try and enrol their child into the school before the beginning of a new term due to the competition and less availability.

What is required to get admission in a school?

  • A document which proves your child’s age (passport or birth certificate)
  • Proof of address (Bank statement or electricity bill)
  • Proof of guardianship if child is under the age of 18 and not living with parents
  • Immunisation records
  • School reports along with samples of past school work

Public Schools

Expat children are able to attend public schools for free and day care opportunities are available throughout the country for children from the age of five.

The public schools in Canada have an excellent high score in international student assessments making the quality of the schools exceptional. Therefore, parents may want to choose which area to live in depending on the schools in that particular area after doing their research about the best suited schools available to their children around them.

Expats will find that many public elementary and secondary schools are free of charge for students with a residence permit, however those without a PR will need to pay tuition fees which is determined by what region you are in and this can start from around 8,000 to 14,000 CAD per year.

In different regions of Canada the same schooling system does not take place and the curriculum will differ. The curriculum is a reflection of the area where children are taught the history, geography and culture of that particular area.
In public schools, children will be taught some of the same subjects as their own country which includes English, Maths, Science, Art, and Social studies as well as many others.

Private Schools

Many parents in Canada prefer to send their child to a private school because of the better facilities and range of extracurricular activities as well the highly trained teachers that are available. Private schools are funded by student tuition fees and private sources. With small classes and a more prominent standard of education each
school offers its own curriculum and teaching styles.

Private schools fees range from CAD 8,000 per year up to 40,000 CAD for private boarding schools. This is another factor which will depend on the location and how good the school is.

Majority of the private schools are based in the cities and near the Canadian border which all have their own admission criteria. You should ensure that you have all of the documents required as well as proof of immunisations and previous school records.

International Schools

As well as public and private schools, expats will find that there are also international schools in the country that they are able to send their child to. Expat parents may want their child to continue learning in their own foreign language, with the same curriculum and some international schools will offer this.


Students who have graduated from high school choose to go to college or university and Canada has more than 90 colleges and universities. The most popular universities in Canada are – The University of Toronto, The University of British Columbia in Vancouver and the McGill University in Montreal. Other students may decide after high school that they want to do a full time job or attend community colleges.
University may not be cheap but tuition fees compared to other countries can definitely be afforded. Also keep in mind that there will be other costs for books, accommodation, school administrative fees, travel and other expenses.